I knew as soon as I saw the first trailer for Black Snake Moan that I would have to see it. I was not disappointed in the slightest in the film, which was written and directed by Hustle and Flow's creator Craig Brewer. It tells the story of a broken blues man and the nymphomaniac he aims to cure not just for her sake, but also his own...yet it's so much more than that. It's complex and rich and it manages to steep you in a gritty, sticky, sultry blue Memphis without making you feel like you need a bath afterward.The characters are for the most part multifaceted and very <more>
well-written and performed. The accents and the dialogue were carried off flawlessly. However, there was one weak link in the chain: Justin Timberlake. The best I can say for him is that he can pull off crying...it's a rare male actor who can cry convincingly. However, Justin's Ronnie was flat, but as an actor he was trying very hard. I would definitely give him another chance.Lazarus and Rae Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci respectively have a great chemistry and a great respect for each other. This is one of those films where it doesn't matter how good one actor is if the other one isn't up to the task and, luckily, both of the actors were up to the task.The music was very bit as good as you would expect, especially when Mr. Samuel L. Jackson sings the blues. Phenomenal.On the technical side, all was brilliance as far as I could see. It was well-edited, well shot, and well-mixed...everything was great. The character and set designs were just right, the casting of the supporting characters even Justin Timberlake and especially Kim Richards was spot on... Loved it.
Prepare yourself and let it all out with the Blues! (by longojr)
Here we go again folks! Another Saturday night double feature which I admit it made me feel as a triple feature, but there's good news and I'll get to that.Throughout the first half of this small marathon of 4 hours and 45 minutes dizziness was the main result, and for that I say do not get fooled by David Fincher's previous works, Seven or Fight Club, and just try to avoid the 2 hours and 40 minutes of "zodiache"; it simply hurts. Because of such a long dragging torture I will even spare any comments of the few good moments in the movie. So let's move on to the <more>
second part.I felt the night was heading towards an endless abyss of pain but suddenly a great surprise: bliss!!! I left the theater with the exact same feeling when I first saw Pulp Fiction back in 1994. The movie Black Snake Moan will be a new classic. The ones who know me might watch the movie and think that the "music" influenced my decision to write with such emotion about it, but I guarantee you that I never had the intent to fool anyone by getting mixed feelings about my personal taste and the admiration for art although this statement can be tricky, I understand . I try to be fair, and that's it. The story is about loving one another which seems cheesy or corny, but is just a sea of appetizers that floods ones' soul note Tennessee after Katrina as background . The acting is the main course in the film. And again the similar feeling I had with Pulp Fiction it is due to the extraordinary performance of Samuel L. Jackson note some parallels with both characters in both films . Here Jackson was given the main role, not a supporting, as his previous best work, and kicks ass! And that's not it! Finally I can shout to all four corners that one the best new coming actresses have nail it! Christina Ricci is superb as the southerner white trash Ray, again her best effort yet. Perhaps due to the great characters along the story, which all actors John Cothran Jr, etc embodied and gave their best as well, Ricci could "let it all out", stressing and relaxing with a great sense of gravity the blues can really be a soul healer . S. Epatha Merkerson repeats the same charm given in Lackawanna Blues and shines in her supporting role. At last, the great revelation was Orlando Bloom's cousin, Justin Timberlake. I mean, if you look at both, they are either cousins or the same person, kinda like in Adaptation, a double-imaginary-based on true events-Coehn Fargoish feeling anyway where was I? Yes, no restrictions in Timberlakes' casting.No matter if you are a blues lover, as long as you can be open-minded for this creative new-style love story, then satisfaction is guaranteed. By the way, choose the right theater to catch this movie; a good crowd will create an even greater sensation. Forget the matinée also and try the last show.I hope you can enjoy it as I did Rotildo
If ever a potential movie must've sounded like it wouldn't work based on reading the script on paper, it would be this one. Here we have what seemingly looks like a lurid and seedy soft-porn s&m flick, complete with the huge in-theatre poster, depicting a near-naked Christina Ricci chained to none other than Mr. Bad Ass MF himself, Samuel Jackson. But let me tell you, if ever a film springs to life on celluloid major big time with soulful power to spare, it's Craig Brewer's redemptive follow-up to Hustle & Flow, Black Snake Moan.Unashamedly over the top from the get <more>
go, this film sucks you in with the opening scenes and proceeds to dig deeper and deeper in with every subsequent frame. It's yer basic story of two deeply damaged characters who find in each other the strength and courage to move on, in more positive ways, with their lives. Been done before, of course, this tale, but as I've always said, it's the manner in which a story is told that gives it heart, depth, meaning and power.Ricci's damaged-by-childhood-abuse wild-child character Rae and Jackson's equally soulsick musician character Lazarus find each other under desperate circumstances, and Laz takes it upon himself to try to help Rae. This in itself is relatively unique: the idea of a man trying to genuinely help a woman who is in serious pain, rather than trying to take further advantage of her, and we know from the onset that Laz's heart, and the film's heart, is in the right place. The movie at its core is about the redemptive, healing power of love with music as a very close second , and the film resonates profoundly with this truth - soulfully, artfully and brilliantly.A major reason the film succeeds so profoundly is because of the fierce, committed performances from Ricci and Jackson. Scenes that would have come off as laughable and pathetic in lesser artists' hands are, instead, powerful as all get-out. In particular, the film's arc scene, in which Jackson sings and plays the song of the title alone in his house, with Ricci, amidst a serious thunderstorm and the abusive demons from Rae's past running amok inside her head, leading her to crawl to Lazarus and cling to his leg, comes off not ridiculous as technically it should, but rather as gut-wrenchingly cathartic. All the supporting performances are fantastic here too. Justin Timberlake is completely believable as Rae's anxiety-ridden boyfriend Ronnie, and the always-wonderful S. Epatha Merkerson is also perfectly cast as a character who obviously has feelings for Lazarus. John Cothran Jr. is outstanding as well, as Laz's reverend friend R.L. a nod to blues musician R. L. Burnside, no doubt . Everything works about this movie, let's face it, including the music/soundtrack, which features Burnside, Scott Bomar, Bobby Rush, Son House, and most importantly, Jackson himself, whose fantastic version of Stackolee I am listening to as I compose this review. There's also a really beautiful and moving version of "This Little Light of Mine" featured in the film, sung heart-breakingly tentative and soft by Ricci.Samuel Jackson has said in recent interviews that he believes his performance in this movie is the best of his career thus far; I could not agree with him more. This is work that he can be monumentally proud of, along with everyone else involved in this audacious, supremely wise and deeply heartfelt mother*ucker of a project.
surprising movie with a good message (by danceNchrist)
Working at a movie theater as a projectionist, I have the opportunity to watch basically every movie that comes out. When I first saw the trailer for 'Black Snake Moan' I laughed and thought, "Great. Another 'Snakes on a Plane' Samuel L Jackson movie". But of course, I wanted to see it for the laugh factor. Many people have judged this movie too quickly based on the innuendo in the title, the images on promotional ads and on the fact that Justin Timberlake is in the film. Personally I loved every second of this movie. It tells the story of an older man and young <more>
woman who are both going through rough times and are able to reach out to one another. The story is truly touching and sends out a great message about life and how we live. Of course, I do not recommend it for young audiences due to some graphic material, but if you are looking for a great story and genuine acting from Sam Jackson, Christina Ricci and,yes, even Justin Timberlake, I encourage you to see 'Black Snake Moan'.
Craig Brewer convinces us that he is for real and Samuel L. makes sweet music (by sundevil27)
Just saw this fantastic film at the Sundance premier and cannot sing its praises enough. Last time I saw Craig Brewer he was singing Ike and Tina to the audience and turning Sundance upside down with his breakout film Hustle and Flow. This time around he fulfills on his big Sundance payday with another unique vision thats going to get everyone talking about Samuel L Jackson, and if you thought Christina Ricci was just that girl in the Addams Family movies then think again. Ricci plays Rae a complete mess of a women who without her beloved Ronnie, played by the getting better all the time <more>
Justin Timberlake, has an uncontrollable need for all things sexual. When Ronnie leaves for the a tour with the Army, Rae's demons send her tumbling down a bumpy road that leaves her used and abused left for dead on the side of the road. Along comes old blues-man Lazarus played by the great Samuel L Jackon, Lazarus himself has a few demons lurking around in his head as well, notably his ex-wife who done wrong by him. Lazarus gets to think about this young women and after some soul searching he takes it upon himself to cure her evil ways with some love, some lessons and a 40 lb. chain. I don't want to reveal too much so I'll just say there's some dark moments, some very funny moments and whole lot of great acting. This movie isn't by any means Hustle & Flow 2, however Craig Brewer does tie the two films together with his hope for redemption and change for the better for even the most unlikely of people. Audiences will find a movie worth watching here and worth thinking about well after it ends.
Just got back from seeing Black Snake Moan. I had spent time reading reviews ... most seemed to focus on the obvious ... "skinny white girl chained to a black man's radiator" ... I hate when "critics" miss the point of a film. Now I suppose it helps that I live in Memphis ... and have lived in Mississippi a couple of times too. It may also help that I am the former Director of the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale ... but I get this movie. Brewer's simple "redemption tale" is easy to follow and could have had various themes to tell the story ... but I <more>
believe it is highly effect as a "blues". It would be my hope that people don't read all the hype ... and/or various reviews ... and miss a really good movie. Get past the various things like skinny girls in white panties ... get past Justin Timberlake, accept his character Ronnis which he plays very well ... get past "Snakes on a Plane" and see how mercuricul Samuel L. Jackson is ... as he has transformed himself into a very believable Mid-South blues man. If you know little about Mid-South culture a lot of what goes on may strike some as cartoonish ... but accept the fact that Craig Brewer KNOWS how to paint the canvas and let the actors tell the story and you will enjoy this film. Not one to tell endings ... so go see this movie ... and yes I will agree with one thing the critics got right ... the music is wonderful!
An excellent movie with disastrous marketing (by rgparise-1)
We just saw this film previewed before release at the Norfolk VA Film Forum, and there was general agreement on two matters: There were excellent performances in a first rate drama by the two leads and by others: and secondly, the marketing for this movie will only bring disaster. We saw a lurid poster with chains and suggestive commentary implying some sort of wacko sexual relationship between Samuel Jackson and Cristina Ricci, whereas the movie has some real depth and some thoughtful ideas. What's sad is that people looking for near porn will be drawn in to see the film and will be <more>
disappointed because it will be too "heavy" for them, while the people who would really enjoy it wouldn't be caught dead walking into the theater showing it. Too bad. A good film wasted.
Not What You Expect Going In...Pleasantly Surprised Walkng Out (by Sam_Seaborn)
Me and my roommate got free tickets for a Pre Screening I guess you would call it in Atlanta, GA at Atlantic Station. Walking in I was expecting something controversial, provocative, unnecessarily overdone, etc.. But the film is much more than that. It's a story of two people helping each other. It's not overdone, and the film is done in a careful balance as to not make you cringe or say its unnecessary.It's put together really well and doesn't take itself too seriously. Thats the beauty of it. If it tried to take itself seriously, it would have failed miserably, but instead <more>
it carries itself through humor some unintentional and some surprisingly good acting by Ricci. Although Timberlake fails miserably in his role, the movie is good enough for you to put that on the side.I would definitely recommend this movie, if not for any other reason than the fact it is something different to experience.
If you've been looking for a film where a out of control nympho gets chained to a radiator by an extremely religious southern man then look no further than Paramount Vantage's latest release 'Black Snake Moan'. Not exactly looking for what I just described you say? Well then, you best get ya wits 'bout yaself and mosey on down to your local theater and still see it as Samuel L. Jackson's character Lazarus would say. As long as you're open minded and don't take everything seriously, there's no reason you won't leave the theater glad you saw it.In the <more>
third offering from director Craig Brewer, we are taken into the deep south where as the tagline to the film claims, everything is hotter. While there we're introduced to the Godfearing bluesman, Lazarus as previously said played by Jackson, and the almost always half naked Rae; a role bravely taken on by Christina Ricci. In the film this unlikely pair cross paths long enough for their characters to each learn a lesson from one another. Both lessons ultimately convey the message to us the audience that no matter what, we are all human. No one is perfect and if everyone would realize that, then we'd be a lot better off. The question of if this will be understood, or be accepted by all who see the film is another story.One thing not up for debate is how great Jackson and Ricci both are here. You'd think with the role of a sex-crazed woman, overacting would be a given, but no, not here. Ricci breaks through and demonstrates true talent with a raw performance that also doubles as her best to date. Then we have Jackson who completely disappears and for the first time in a long time makes us forget who he even is. Sadly, the third star of the film, Justin Timberlake who plays Rae's military-bound boyfriend isn't all that great. At the start, he fails miserably as he appears to be trying too hard. Later on he steps it up some, still he's far from the level he reached in January's 'Alpha Dog'.The other thing 'Black Snake Moan' boasts is a splendid soundtrack. Containing tracks from The Black Keys, John Doe, pieces from the score done by Scott Bomar, & of course four, count 'em, four tracks from Jackson himself. It's actually one of his songs, the main performance of the film, 'Stackolee' that is the fuel to the fire of this great collection. It alone is worth the ticket price. Other notable musical delights from the soundtrack are Bomar's 'The Chain', 'When the Lights Go Out' from the Black Keys, & the title track which is also among the most memorable scenes in the film where Lazarus sings to Rae on a stormy night.The efforts of Craig Brewer can't go without mention though. His last film 'Hustle & Flow' which ended up surpassing low expectations and gaining critical acclaim put him on the map. What he has done with 'Black Snake Moan' will be what sets him apart from other newbies to the industry. He not only directed 'Moan', but also wrote its screenplay. The end result is a story that is surprising and clever. As you watch you feel like you know exactly where it's headed despite its valiant composure. Just as you think you've predicted the next move Brewer shifts gears and takes an entirely different route. There are however some blotches within the screenplay. The background characters are drab and flat while the ending is somewhat disappointing. It left me craving for something more exciting. After so many highs I guess the final scenes were a tad weak compared to the rest of the film.I imagine the majority of people who see 'Black Snake Moan' won't enjoy it due to the fact they won't be able to stop themselves from thinking how unlikely the situations are. The depressing part about that is there are many other films with just as unlikely, even more outrageous scenarios that are widely well received. It's the issues of race, religious motives, & sexuality the film exhibits that will have more effect on opinion than anything. The idea of a black man chaining a white woman up in his house is enough to make most people not even consider seeing it. Simply put, it's not for everyone. Like I said, to fully enjoy it you have to go in with an open mind, or else you're just wasting your money. For those of you who can do that, I highly recommend it.